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The story begins on the southern end of the wall, on your left as you enter. Arjuna with flowing beard and long matted hair stands on one leg with arms raised, deeply absorbed in penance. On the other side of the niche, the boar Mukasura disturbs Arjuna's penance.

The next two panels show Arjuna and Kirata Siva first hunting down the same boar and then fighting over the who shot the boar first. The goddess Parvati appears as the huntress Kirati, standing behind her spouse. Did you notice how Kirata Siva and Kitari Parvati are shown wearing garments of leaves?

The story continues on the other side of the doorway, to the right of the beautiful sculpture of Mahishasuramardhini: Arjuna wrestles Kirata Siva to the ground, allowing Kirati Parvati to see an auspicious mark on Arjuna's back.

The story continues after the kumbhapanjara shaft − Arjuna is seen surrendering to Kirata Siva in a gesture of piety. He then receives the pasupatastra weapon from Siva and Parvati, who are shown seated on Nandi, the bull. In the lower register of this space, flanking the kumbhapanjara base are two ganas dancing and playing a horn.

The sculptures beyond the Kiratarjuniya story continue the theme of ascetics, hunters and hunting. Three ascetics and a sculpture of a five-hooded serpent protecting a linga are arranged around a niche, within which is an awkwardly placed snake stone, a later addition. You can also see relief sculptures of a hunter felling a deer with a well-aimed arrow, another hefting the deer, a huntress prying a thorn from her own foot, a hunter stringing a bow.


The Kiratarjuniya story from the Mahabharata describes the fight between the Pandava Arjuna and Lord Siva disguised as a hunter, Kirata. A popular narrative among medieval writers and sculptors, this story is depicted here split across the eastern façade of the main temple.